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Dog care facility housing canine evacuees

As the number of Cariboo wildfire evacuees registered in Prince George rises to 9,000, so to does the number of pets and livestock looking for refuge.

As the number of Cariboo wildfire evacuees registered in Prince George rises to 9,000, so to does the number of pets and livestock looking for refuge.

One facility, Ace's K-9 Care Facility, was eager to help from the start and have already taken in 32 evacuee dogs.

"It's been quite a jump for us. We've been working hard but it's worth it.

"Many of these families are almost in tears when they arrive because of the desperate situation they are in," said Dawn Videgain, co-owner of the dog boarding and daycare facility.

Only open since May 9, Videgain, along with her daughter Kelsey, run the facility located at the old Haldi Road elementary school, which offers dogs, boarding, daycare, training and grooming.

"We wanted to open our doors to evacuees and we are still getting calls for more," Videgain said.

"We started receiving dogs about two weeks ago, first from 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House and then Williams Lake."

Videgain is thankful for all of the volunteer help received so far but more volunteers would be appreciated.

"We have some young volunteers helping with exercising the dogs, playing with them, comforting them and just being with them. That's what they need most of all," she said.

Along with a 12,600 square foot facility and a 10-acre fully fenced yard, the owners continue to share the mindset of offering dogs room to board instead of a kennel to sleep in.

In this case, Videgain was ready to offer what she could.

"We had suites available and we had the openings. We wanted to reach out and help those in need," Videgain said.

"Some of these people are desperate, they might even be losing their homes so they've been very emotional but so thankful. It's been great to reach out and help in whatever way we can."

For anyone wishing to volunteer, contact Dawn at: 250-964-1312. The Prince George Humane society is also housing pets at Peden Hill elementary school and the SPCA has kennels available at Duchess Park secondary school.

The Agriplex at Exhibition Park is continuing to offer refuge to livestock including: horses, chickens, goats, sheep and one pot-bellied pig.

For more information about finding a temporary home for evacuated livestock and pets, visit the city's webpage at princegeorge.ca/caribooevacuation.